My husband passed away on November 11, 2018. He had been in a skilled nursing facility for the time covered by Medicare in our state, and was authorized for Medi-Cal just 5 days before passing. We brought him home into Hospice just 26 hours before he took his final breaths. He was surrounded by family and his best friend and his passing was peaceful. The six months prior to this are a horrible memory filled with violence, deep dementia, exhaustion and such sadness. I am now in a spouse's Hospice group and will go into one on one counseling after the 7-week program. I cannot begin to thank the hospice program here and the wonderful people on AgingCare who listened to my rants and offered advice and caring words of comfort to me for the past two years as my husband rapidly declined into frontal-temporal lobe dementia.
My need now is to remember the happy times, to remember my husband as he was, and not as he was at the end. But there is a memory of him sitting in the dining room of the skilled nursing facility. He smiled his old beautiful blue-eyed dimpled smile as he saw me, and as I sat down he placed his frail arm around my shoulders, hugged me to him and whispered, "I really missed you." My tears rolled down my face and less than one month later he was gone. I do not miss the exhaustion or the constant work of caring for him by myself at home, but I miss the handsome funny talented man he was. I miss our life and I am sad. For any of you who do lose your loved one, I recommend two books: "Permission to Mourn", by Tom Zuba and "Healing After Loss", by Martha W. Hickman. I know how hard it is for all of you, but please try to take care of yourselves as you deal with the hundreds of challenges you are facing every day. Be kind to yourselves, and be forgiving to everyone in this journey.